Funding for biomedical research and innovation - MRC

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Awards for research leaders

Funding for researchers who lead and manage programmes, teams and resources, and who have a track record of nationally or internationally competitive research.

Funding options available

British Heart Foundation: Personal chairs
These are professorships for individuals with outstanding cardiovascular research achievements and leadership qualities.
Career stage: Senior research leader with an established international reputation
Funding: Please see website for details
Duration: Ten years, with a review at five years

British Heart Foundation. Senior basic science research fellowships
For outstanding individuals who will reach Readership or Chair level within five years.
Career stage: At least six to ten years successful postdoctoral work with an established track record of research leadership
Funding: Salary, staff, consumables, equipment, allowance for overseas visits
Duration: Five years (with possible renewal)

British Heart Foundation: Programme grants
Programme grants provide larger, longer term and renewable funding to leading research groups to address significant research challenges. They are intended to support researchers to undertake a variety of activities focusing on one strategic research theme.
Career stage: Senior researcher working in an established research institution in the UK
Funding: Staff salary, research consumables, research equipment
Duration: Five years

Cancer Research UK: Discovery programme awards
Programme awards provide long-term support for broad, multidisciplinary research where the aim is to answer an interrelated set of questions.
Career stage: Established independent researchers
Funding: Up to £2.5 million
Duration: Up to five years

Cancer Research UK: Programme foundation awards
Programme foundation awards allow excellent mid-career researchers to develop their independent research group.
Career stage: Mid-career and established independent researchers
Funding: Up to £1.5 million
Duration: Six years

Cancer Research UK: Senior cancer research fellowships
Supports a group leader to further develop their own research programme and build their reputation as a world-leader in their cancer research field.
Career stage: Established independent researcher
Funding: Salaries and running expenses for you and a team of four
Duration: Six years

MRC: Programme grants
Programme grants provide larger, longer term and renewable funding, specifically for a coordinated group of related projects, which may be developed to address an interrelated set of questions across a broad scientific area.
Career Stage: Established independent researchers with a substantial record of successfully securing research funding and delivering high quality research
Funding: Proportion of salary, research staff, consumables, equipment.
Duration: Five years

MRC: Senior non-clinical fellowship
Helps researchers with a track record of effectively leading their independent research to become internationally recognised leaders in their field.
Career stage: Established independent researcher
Funding: 50% of the fellow’s salary costs, together with support for research staff, consumables expenses, travel costs and capital equipment
Duration: Five years

National Institute for Health Research: Research professorships and global research professorships
Funding for leaders in the early part of their careers to lead research and to strengthen health, public health and care research leadership at the highest academic levels.
Career stage: Candidates must be able to demonstrate an outstanding research record of clinical and applied health, public health or care research.
Funding: Salary, staff costs and research expenses
Duration: Five years

National Institute for Health Research: Advanced fellowship
This is a post-doctoral fellowship aimed at anyone with a PhD who hasn’t yet been awarded a chair.
Career stage: There are no eligibility rules based on years of postdoctoral experience
Funding: Fully funded including salary
Duration: Two to five years, with part time accepted 50-100% whole time equivalent

Wellcome Discovery Awards
Provide funding for established researchers and teams who want to pursue bold and creative research ideas to deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing.
Career stage: Research leader with international standing in their field
Funding: Staff and research costs
Duration: Eight years.

Last updated: 15 November 2021

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